The Ottawa Senators were instructed not to trade forward Mike Hoffman within the Atlantic Division, an NHL source told The Athletic’s Craig Custance.

It’s uncertain who exactly was making these demands to general manager Pierre Dorion, but based on the team’s organizational hierarchy, it becomes quite clear that it was owner Eugene Melnyk.

Many teams have a president above the general manager, but the Sens’ staff directory doesn’t list such position. And, after former CEO Tom Anselmi departed the team, Melnyk took over those duties.

Well, the instructions made to Dorion clearly backfired, as once Hoffman was dealt to the San Jose Sharks, he was then flipped back into the Atlantic Division to the Florida Panthers.

The Senators apparently wanted players in return for Hoffman, not draft picks, so it’s unclear whether a deal between Ottawa and Florida would’ve worked out. Also, it remains unclear whether wanting players instead of picks was Melnyk’s or Dorion’s call.

Regardless, the Sens probably would’ve received a better return for Hoffman had they not ruled out a quarter of the league as a possible trade partner.

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